Visual recording devices are everywhere in Texas. Homeowners and retailers use them to deter theft. Traffic light cameras can capture vehicle violations. Worse, nearly everyone carries a phone with a camera, and most love nothing more than recording the events around them.
When prosecuting drug crimes like distribution, authorities often rely heavily on recorded evidence. A video that appears to depict you selling drugs can damage your defense, but what if you could have this evidence dismissed?
Possible ways to challenge video evidence
Although you may be rightfully focused on creating your defense, remember that the prosecutor is working just as hard to prove your guilt. If they find a piece of visual evidence implicating you, it could strengthen their case. It falls to you and your legal team to poke holes in this evidence and weaken the prosecution’s argument. Here are a few methods to consider.
- The video may be a copy. Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, recorded depictions should ideally be original versions instead of duplicates. Your defense team may be able to have copies suppressed or dismissed.
- The evidence may be unfairly prejudicial. Evidence that represents you unfairly or results in prejudice can destroy your defense. However, if a video adds nothing of substance to the case, your team may petition for its dismissal.
- The chain of custody may have been compromised. The evidence in criminal cases requires careful preservation to maintain its integrity. The possible mishandling of video evidence could be grounds for its dismissal if your team can show proof.
Overcoming video evidence in drug distribution cases is not always easy. However, it is generally worth exploring, especially if the prosecutor has little other evidence to use against you.